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Halo - Emergence and Homecoming - Double Review

Along with progressing Master Chief's story in leaps and bounds, the most recent episodes of Halo also spend some time fleshing out the supporting cast, with an interesting focus on Makee and Kai.

Makee gets a little bit of backstory in the third episode to help explain her hatred of humans while also revealing that the book she carries with her belonged to her friend the soldiers killed. Right now, Makee is an antagonist but I don't see that lasting for long. 

She refers to John as 'the demon' but I think when they eventually meet, it will help them both along their personal journeys which will hopefully lead to Makee breaking from the Covenant and John breaking from Halsey and the UNSC. 

I'm more convinced than ever that the other Spartans will follow him if he abandons the UNSC for good. They talk to Miranda at length in the fourth episode about how they were trained to only have bonds with each other, telling her a rather dark story about Halsey forcing them to kill their pets. 

Kai especially is growing to be one of my favourite characters in this show. I was worried at first when she saw Cortana aiding Master Chief in cutting out his emotional suppressor but then she goes and does the exact same thing. She even puts some red dye in her hair, which is a pretty nifty symbol of individualism in a world where that sort of thing is stamped out. 

Her newfound emotional freedom paves the way for some interesting interactions in the future. She's already developed some pretty great chemistry with Miranda and Kate Kennedy has done a fantastic job of portraying the difference between Kai on the suppressor and Kai off it. She feels and acts more alive for a start. I wonder how long it will take the other two Spartans, Riz and Vannak, to notice there's something fundamentally different about her. They had no reaction to the red hair - is that an effect of the emotional suppressor? It probably does dampen curiosity and the basic effort to even care after all. 

But as Miranda says to Kai in the closing moments of the fourth episode, her mother is not a fan of change or people acting strangely and differently to how she wants. If she can't control someone - namely John in this instance - she becomes increasingly uncomfortable. 

That is evident throughout both episodes as John accesses his memories more and more, even without the aid of the keystone. She certainly does her best to gaslight him by trying to convince him not to trust all his memories as fact which it means there can be no good reason she was visiting him as a child. There's two options for me right now concerning the disease that spread over Eridanus II. Either Halsey orchestrated it for some reason pertaining to John - which seems a little too insidious for her - or he accidentally activated something when he touched the artifact on the planet as a child. 

Her need to control and monitor John is the catalyst leading to the eagerly anticipated introduction of Cortana and her integration with Master Chief, ostensibly as his confidant and companion but secretly spying on him for Halsey. 

It's pretty inevitable that at some point, Cortana will truly ally with John and betray Halsey though it may potentially cause some problems down the line with John who won't be too happy when he finds out he's sharing brain space with a mole.

Per Halsey's instructions, Cortana helps him on his quest to learn more about himself even though she complains in private that she is not in full control. Luckily for John, his consciousness is needed for the connection to the artifact. By the time he outlives his usefulness, Cortana will probably have switched loyalties.

Kwan meanwhile has headed back to Madrigal after forcing Soren to help her with the promise of money. Her naive heroism gets her into a lot of trouble pretty quickly. Not only is there no resistance like she had presumed, but people she would have expected to be orchestrating rebellion are taking handouts from the enemy to survive.

She is understandably disappointed and upset especially when an assassin is sent after her and kills her aunt instead and she and Soren escape into the desert. He's heading for a way off the planet but I don't think she'll be so easy to convince. 

Her plight to save Madrigal from Vinsher Grath seems like a lost cause right now because she can't fight this battle alone. This doesn't strike me as the type of show where the good guys don't win in the end so it's going to be interesting to see how she turns things around in later episodes.

What did you think of the past couple of episodes? Hoping Riz and Vannak will remove their suppressors as well? What do you think will go down when Makee and Master Chief eventually meet? What is Halsey trying to hide from him? Sound off in the comments below!

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